Tie One on for Safety: Reduce Accident Risks This Thanksgiving Season

Thanksgiving is a joyful American holiday, but it’s also a surprisingly dangerous time for drivers. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the holiday season – from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day – is the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road. Why? Theories abound. For instance: 

  • People generally consume more alcohol during this time because of the festivities;
  • People commute longer distances to see friends and loved ones. Drivers spend more time on the road and also travel on unfamiliar highways and surface streets.

To meet these safety challenges, in 1986, MADD started the Tie One On For Safety project. Every year, the group shares ideas to help make the holidays safer. Here are some of the most potent and useful of these insights:

  • Before you go to a party, assign a designated driver – i.e., a person who will attend and refrain from consuming alcohol. Make sure your designated driver stays sober! A chilling study out of the University of Florida recently found that up to 40% of so-called “designated drivers” at a club tested near or above the 0.05% BAC mark. That’s close to the legal limit for DUI of 0.08%.
  • If you host, provide lots of non-alcoholic drinks for partygoers, including mock tails, zero alcohol beer, and juice. You might also arrange rides to and from your party or provide alternative transportation (such as taxi service) for your guests.
  • Put a MADD red ribbon on your car to help raise awareness in your community about holiday drunk driving.
  • Know the facts about holiday DUI driving and tell your friends and colleagues. For instance, based on data collected from 2001 through 2005, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that 45 people die every day (on average) from DUI driving during the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found similar numbers: 25,000 people get hurt every year during the holidays due to DUI driving, and around 1,200 people die.
  • Remember: holiday DUI stats are significantly worse than normal DUI rates. A MADD analysis found that more than 50% of fatal crashes on Christmas involve alcohol; and nearly 60 percent of fatal crashes on New Year’s Day involve alcohol. Compare that rate to the average: on a typical day, only 41% of fatal crashes involve alcohol.
  • Don’t despair. The long-term trends bode well. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that the number of alcohol related deaths on the road has declined substantially over the past three decades. In 1982, 2,600 people died due to DUI driving during the holidays. We’ve more than halved that number.

Dealing with the Consequences of a DUI Accident

An accident can ruin the holidays and forever alter your and your family’s lives. To get keen, ethical insight into your car accident, please connect with our attorneys now for a free, thorough consultation about your rights and options for fair compensation.


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